Visiting Family History

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One of my favorite things to do is take someone to an artifact that has personal meaning to them and watch their face light up as they see the piece and reminisce about it and their family history.  Very recently this happened (although to another co-worker this time) as we had a woman come in looking for two carvings her grandfather, William Geggie, had done.

Thankfully a staff member was able to direct her to where they are displayed in our business entrance and we were able to send her more information about the pieces and her grandfather.  The museum hired Geggie to carve these pieces in 1957 to compliment a couple of our figureheads that were being displayed at the front of the museum.  Working full time, he was able to complete them in four months.   Read more

Returned Stolen Material

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Japan Mail Steamship Co booklet, 1915 (1)

As usual, I am excited to share the archival materials that are being returned to us, so enjoy!

Japan Mail Steamship Company brochure from 1915, showing the ship SS Yasaka Maru   Read more

Posters, part 7

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ln243

Our first poster is obviously a WWII poster and encourages people to remember Pearl Harbor and join the Coast Guard to help defend the country.  The image was done by Charles Rosner.  The second poster has pretty much the same message as the first, just without mention of Pearl Harbor.  Both of these posters were used in a recruiting office in Norfolk, VA, which is probably how we ended up with them.  The third poster is one of my favorites, I guess because I don’t generally associate space travel with the Navy.  It is ca 1955 with an unknown artist.

“Pour it on” is a great poster from 1942 by artist Jarret Price.  It was made by the United States War Production Board and it looks as though we might have received our copy from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, which would make sense because we have received many posters from them.  The second is another WWII poster and features a sad, but true, message about the inhabitants of Lidice, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic).  The third poster ca 1950’s/60’s encourages women to join the Navy and shows three different positions they can hold.  It was done by artist Lou Nolan.

Way Back Wednesday

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Dec 23, 1974, Re-enlistment at naval memorial plaque

This image from December of 1973 shows a re-enlistment in front of Navy Memorial Plaque.  Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the two gentlemen, but behind them to the right you can see a little bit of our walking beam engine from the steamboat Albany.

To people who have seen our courtyard, this should look somewhat familiar.  In 1972, the museum used part of the courtyard area to create the Gibbs Gallery, an exhibition celebrating William Francis Gibbs.   Read more

Posters, part 5

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ln131

This time we have some posters from WWII era.  The first one encourages those on the home front to work on a farm during the summer for the US Crop Corps so that food can continued to be produced for our troops overseas.  The second one is a bit more startling and implies that Nazi’s are  the enemy and a threat to Christianity.  The third is a piece that came from Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company and encourage the worker’s to keep producing so that the military would have what it needed.

The first one in this grouping also comes from Newport News Shipbuilding and encourages people to carpool to work.  I’ve always enjoyed the rhymes that go along with the Shipyard posters.   The second poster is WWI era and has the pastel colors and imagery that I always find so appealing.  It was done by artist James Montgomery Flagg to help recruit men to the Navy.  The last poster is also a recruiting poster, but from WWII.  I know that Lee is generally thought well of, but it seems weird to see his face on a poster for WWII.  Perhaps this piece was aimed at a particular audience.